Monday, November 9, 2015

Lectionary Ruminations 2.0 for Sunday, November 15, 2015, the Thirty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B)

Lectionary Ruminations 2.0 is a revised continuation of Lectionary Ruminations.  Focusing on The Revised Common Lectionary Readings for the upcoming Sunday from New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) of the Bible, Lectionary Ruminations 2.0 draws on nearly thirty years of pastoral experience.  Believing that the questions we ask are often more important than any answers we find, without overreliance on commentaries I intend with comments and questions to encourage reflection and rumination for readers preparing to teach, preach, or hear the Word. Reader comments are invited and encouraged.  All lectionary links are to the via the PC(USA) Devotions and Readings website.

1:4 Who was Elkanah? He would give portions of what? Were Peninnah’s sons and daughters not also Elkanah’s sons and daughters?
1:5 Who was Hannah and how was she related to Elkanah?
1:6 Who was Hannah’s rival?
1:7 How many years might this have gone on?
1:8 How many wives did Elkanah have?  So much for family values!  How would most wives answer the Question Elkanah asked Hannah? I wonder how couples trying to conceive but have been unable to conceive hear this passage. I wonder how couples who are childless by choice hear this passage.
1:9 Who is “they” and why are “they” at Shiloh? Eli was what sort of priest in what temple?
1:10 What might have been Hanna’s prayer?
1:11 What is Hannah’s misery? Is there a problem with Hanna’s prayer?
1:12 Why was Eli observing Hanna’s mouth? Was he lip reading?
1:13 When you pray silently, do your lips move? Why would Eli have thought Hannah was drunk?
1:14 Read this in light of the First Christian Pentecost. I assume Eli never had a pastoral care course or CPE.
1:15 What does it mean to pour out one’s soul before the LORD?
1:16 Vexation is probably not a word we often hear, especially in a sermon.
1:17 How could Ely say this when he did not know Hannah’s petition?  Who or what gave Ely the right—the power—to answer prayer? Or was Eli simply but politely asking or telling Hannah to move on?
1:18 Were Eli’s words that powerful?
1:19 What do you know about Ramah?  Ya gotta love these Biblical euphemisms for sexual intercourse!
1:20 Why do many people no longer give their children names with personal, existential meaning?

1:1 Did Hannah pray, or did Hannah sing?  Who said , paraphrasing, “the person who sings their prayer
prays twice”? When was the last time your heart exulted?
1:2 What, or who, do you think of when you hear the phrase “holy one”?
1:3-10 This sounds more like a sermon than a prayer. Are these words addressed to God?
1:6-7 So what?
1:8 What does the second half of this verse have to do with the first half?
1:9 This verse seems to echo 1:4-5.
1:10 How does this verse relate to the verses preceding it?

10:11 How are you like a priest? Why were sacrifices made daily?
10:12 What single sacrifice did Christ offer? See 1 Samuel 2:8.
10:12-13 What source or sources are being quoted? Does God have a footstole?
(10:15-18 Where did the Holy Spirit say this?)
10:19 What sanctuary?  Does the blood of Jesus give us confidence or is it a ticket of entry?
10:20 What curtain might this be alluding to?  How was Christ’s flesh like a curtain?  Think about that one long and hard! Is anyone else thinking about the final scene in The Wizard of Oz?
10:21 I find it interesting that we find “a great priest” rather than “a great high priest”!
10:22 How can hearts be sprinkled clean from an evil conscience?  Note that while hearts are sprinkled clean, our bodies are washed. What might “house of God” refer to? Are both sprinkling and washing an allusion to Baptism?
10:23 What is the confession of our hope?  What is our hope?  How do we confess it? Whwn have you ever wavered?
10:24 Is “provoke” the best translation of the Greek?
10:25  To what does this “meeting together” refer? I like to of encouraging one another rather than provoking one another. What “Day” is approaching?

13:1 Who came out of the temple and what had he been doing in there?  This sounds like something a tourist to New York or other world class city says on their first visit.  Was this a particular disciple’s first visit to Jerusalem and the temple? I wonder why we are not told which disciple said this.
13:2 Is this prescient on the part of Jesus or a post AD 70 author writing with hindsight about an earlier event?
13:3 It was usually Peter, James and John who were privy to special moments with Jesus.  What is Andrew doing here?  Why two sets of brothers? How would the author know what the four asked? Did they all ask this in unison or was one of the four a spokesperson for the group?
13:4 Think again about the question I raised in relation to 13:2.
13:5 Who might have led them astray?
13:6 To whom was Jesus, or the writer of the Gospel, referring? How many messianic pretenders were there?
13:7 I think the key message is not to be alarmed.
13:8 Whew!  At least there is no mention of hurricanes, nor’easters, or blizzards.  What do birth pangs signify?  Is this describing the end of things as they are or the birth of something new? Must the old pass away for a new thing to emerge?

ADDENDUM
I am currently serving at the Interim Pastor of The Presbyterian Churchof Cadiz, worshiping at 154 West Market Street, Cadiz, Ohio, every Sunday at 11:00 AM. Please like The Presbyterian Church of Cadiz on facebook.

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